The Wash back Effect of High School Examinations on Iranian EFL Learners’ Language Learning Beliefs

Document Type: Original Article


1 Islamic Azad University, Science & Research Branch, Tehran

2 Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch


The phenomenon of how tests influence teaching and learning is commonly described as “wash back” in language instruction.  Literature indicates that wash back effect is a complex concept that becomes even more complicated under different interpretations of the wash back phenomenon in teaching and learning. In the present study, some definitions of wash back and its two major types were introduced, and also the relationship between wash back effect of high school examinations and the learners’ language learning beliefs was investigated. To carry out this survey study, 120 female students were randomly selected from different high schools in Kermanshah. They were students of different grades in high school, 30% in the first, 35% in the second and 35% in the third grade. The participants were given two questionnaires to assess the wash back effect of high school examinations and their language learning beliefs. The wash back questionnaire selected from Nikoopour (2005) consisted of 42 items with a reliability of 0.82, which was designed based on a Likert scale. The second instrument was the so-called BALLI questionnaire selected from Horwitz (1987), including 34-items, and designed to assess the learners’ language learning beliefs (hereafter LLLB). The present study focused on the relationship between the wash back effect of high school English examinations and the students’ language learning beliefs. The results indicated that the students agreed on the wash back effect of English high school examinations. Also, they agreed with the correspondence between different factors of learners’ language learning beliefs and foreign language learning.


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